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Wedbush Downgrades American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) reported 10% lower August same-store sales. Wedbush downgraded the stock to hold.

Analyst Adrienne Tennant says the company's negative trends from July and August suggest continued weakness at the American Eagle brand. The analyst sees the company's worse than expected performance in August, which accounts for about 42% of third-quarter sales, setting a negative tone for the fall season. With the best of the back to school selling season past, Tennant doesn't think the company can make up for lost sales. The analyst says select competition is performing well and likely taking share.

For September, Tennant sees a high-single-digit drop in comparable store sales. The analyst cut the EPS estimates from 35 cents to 26 cents in the third quarter, and from $1.12 to 98 cents in fiscal year 2004 (January). Tennant also trimmed a $20 price target to $16.

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